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Hamburg, PA Area Fire, May 1930

Emergency Crews From Industrial Plants Of City Rushed To Scene Of Fires Near Hamburg

A large force, including fire wardens, boy scouts, crews from this city and as many persons as could be summoned, under the direction of the forest warden C. CYRIL KLEIN, fought the Hamburg fire. City Engineer, E. ST.CLAIR MAXWELL summoned MILTON FRANK, head of the Frederick Iron and Steel Company crew and WILLIAM HAHN, in charge of the Ox Fibre Brush Company crew about 6 o’clock Sunday evening to assist fighting this blaze, at that time about one a half miles from the Tuscarora receiver. MR. MAXWELL summoned the crews from the Fishing creek receiver after which he came to this city and took a lunch to the fire-fighters.

This fire started near Hamburg was the worst of the three fires. It was stated, shortly before 9 o’clock, that the fire had burned over approximately 1,000 acres of land 90 per cent, of which was on the city watershed property.

Near Hamburg Tower.

The most extensive fire started about a mile and a half beyond Hamburg at a place known as Ford’s Field. This blaze spread rapidly and fanned by a brisk wind moved in a southerly direction passing Hamburg and heading toward Tuscarora and Fishing Creek receivers. Forest Warden KLEIN and all available fire wardens with the assistance they could summon, fought this blaze Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. The fire surrounded the tower at Hamburg and ALBERT HANLEY, in charge closed the tower and joined the fire-fighters.

The fire raged over a front estimated at one and a half miles. At 9 o’clock Sunday night it was reported that it had burned from two and a half to three miles in the direction of Tuscarora and Fishing Creek receivers. Back firing was used to check the flames but a number of times the fire leaped the lines and continued its progress. It was stated that after reaching a point about one and a half miles from the Fishing Creek receiver and about one mile from the Tuscarora received the fire was checked in Ox Hollow. Persons on the scene estimated that this fire burned over 1,000 acres of land, perhaps more, 90 per cent of which was on the watershed property. It was stated that heavy smoke made an accurate estimate of the extent of the fire difficult.

While the origin of the fires is not positively known incendiarism [sic] and carelessness were given by persons in the mountains “as” cause. At one time Sunday afternoon the entire western side of the Catoctin mountain was under a pall of smoke. The fires could be plainly seen from Myersville, Wolfsville, Highland, Garfield, Thurmont, Emmitsburg, Shookstown, Catoctin Furnace, Lewistown and other places. Smoke hung over the western section of the city and could also be seen at Jefferson, Petersville and from practically every elevated section of the county.

Many Motor To Fire Scene.

Scores of persons from the city drove to points of vantage, some distance from the Hamburg fire and watched its progress during the afternoon. After dark the fire could be plainly seen from Rockwell Terrace and the western section of the city. Fifty or sixty men, under the direction of WILLIAM RENNER, fire warden at Catoctin Furnace, made ready to join the fire-fighters on the city watershed property. The fire was about two miles from the fishing camp of LAWRENCE RICHEY, executive secretary of PRESIDENT HOOVER, near Catoctin Furnace.

The Frederick Post, Frederick, MD 5 May 1930

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